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timber 10-25-2011 09:18 AM

Help with Biting and kicking
 
Hello,

Just got 2 rescues one is great the other is well hard to handle.

He is a 3yr TB gelding. He was worked to be a race horse just wasn't fast enough. He is usually fine in the pasture on tried a couple of times to bite me. He comes in at night when he is called. Once he is in his stall he kicks the walls if you even get near him he lays his ears back starts kicking, trying to bite @ you he has given himself a bloody mouth with swinging his head. We can't get in to even feed or water him without him biteing us. Raising our voice only makes him do it more. I've tried pushing him away from me his front legs came off the ground then he just starts to kick his walls again. He is worse for hubby then he is with me. With my hubby he has bit so hard that he has broken skin many times. He will try to bite in me in my face that is when he gave himself the bloody mouth I ducked he hit the bars. Trying to get him out to pick his feet is a handfull. I can usually get a leadline on him with only him grabbing a hold of my clothing. I put him into the cross ties and hold the leadline while hubby trys to do his feet.
I just don't know how to fix this. The lady I got him from says he wasn't like this for his trainer. Hard to beleive. She did say he was food aggresive and he like to nip because he is young yet.
I do have 2 smaller kids we are afraid that he is going to hurt one of them.

Can he be retrained? If he goes back to the rescue he is going to get put down. We are really trying to give him a chance but it is getting really hard.

any suggestions bad or good.

Equilove 10-25-2011 09:29 AM

Get a qualified trainer ASAP that is accustomed to dealing with dangerous horses, because this is a very dangerous horse. Unless you fit the aforementioned description (which I don't assume you do, no offense) then please handle this horse at a bare minimum until a trainer can come around. If you do get a trainer, disclose everything you mentioned here to him / her. He WILL end up hurting (or killing) someone if you aren't careful.

Wear a helmet when you're around him. Especially if he's trying to bite your face.

Saddlebag 10-25-2011 10:28 AM

Can you not leave him out? Because of his earlier career he is finding the stall very stressful. In his mind he is back at the track and obviously hated it. You will likely have to take this very slowly. Walk him into the barn only as far as he's ok with. Feed him a treat or a handful of hay and walk him out. Try to keep him in his comfort zone. It may take weeks or months but he will eventually learn to trust that his stall is ok. Some horses feel trapped in a stall and are much happier if left outside.

Equilove 10-25-2011 10:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Saddlebag (Post 1211355)
Can you not leave him out? Because of his earlier career he is finding the stall very stressful. In his mind he is back at the track and obviously hated it. You will likely have to take this very slowly. Walk him into the barn only as far as he's ok with. Feed him a treat or a handful of hay and walk him out. Try to keep him in his comfort zone. It may take weeks or months but he will eventually learn to trust that his stall is ok. Some horses feel trapped in a stall and are much happier if left outside.

Unfortunately I have to disagree with leaving him out. He is showing very aggressive behavior toward anyone who gets in his "territory" (his stall). Turning him out will only broaden his territory and I could imagine how much his aggression would progress if someone attempted to catch him, or maybe go out to throw feed / hay. Right now he needs an experienced hand to make him respect people. He is dangerously disrespectful. He sees people as intruders, and maybe he has reason to. Does his past owner know his full history? How long has he been gelded?

Turning him out for X amount of time and 'letting him be a horse' comes to mind, but I can see him becoming more unruly and dangerous through this method... maybe some others can offer better advice.

timber 10-25-2011 11:33 AM

Thanks for all the advise.
They can come in and out of the barn whenever they want durning the day. They hang out in each others stalls.
He is turned out durning the day I can walk right up to him in the pasture. Or he will come over to see what I am doing. Timber (good horse) stays real close to me at that point he doesn't let Buddy(bad boy) get to close. Timber will kick Buddy if he thinks he is going to get mean with me. I can bring him in with a lead line. Only one time he tried to pick me up by it.(I'm short) He is very stubborn if he dosn't want to move he won't. He has learned that I don't give up until he does what I want him to do. (I know I'm asking for trouble but I try to show him that I'm the boss not him.)
I didn't get any of his vet records so I don't know when he was gelded.
In the morning when I let them out of the stalls I always do Buddy first he is closest to the door to go out. He follows me over to Timbers stall as I let him out. Timber usually comes flying out of his stall and blocks the hall so Buddy can't get near me. Usually Buddy bites Timber, Timber will put his back legs to Buddy he will give and go out. Timber always hangs back until Buddy is out of the barn until he goes out. They are starting to fight in the pasture but Timber dosn't take any of Buddy drama he will just go to kick him.

I hope this gives everyone a idea of what is going on. I'm know he is much more of a horse then I can handle at this point. Sometimes I wonder if he wasn't abused.

Thanks for all the advise.

Equilove 10-25-2011 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timber (Post 1211418)
Thanks for all the advise.
They can come in and out of the barn whenever they want durning the day. They hang out in each others stalls.
He is turned out durning the day I can walk right up to him in the pasture. Or he will come over to see what I am doing. Timber (good horse) stays real close to me at that point he doesn't let Buddy(bad boy) get to close. Timber will kick Buddy if he thinks he is going to get mean with me. I can bring him in with a lead line. Only one time he tried to pick me up by it.(I'm short) He is very stubborn if he dosn't want to move he won't. He has learned that I don't give up until he does what I want him to do. (I know I'm asking for trouble but I try to show him that I'm the boss not him.)
I didn't get any of his vet records so I don't know when he was gelded.
In the morning when I let them out of the stalls I always do Buddy first he is closest to the door to go out. He follows me over to Timbers stall as I let him out. Timber usually comes flying out of his stall and blocks the hall so Buddy can't get near me. Usually Buddy bites Timber, Timber will put his back legs to Buddy he will give and go out. Timber always hangs back until Buddy is out of the barn until he goes out. They are starting to fight in the pasture but Timber dosn't take any of Buddy drama he will just go to kick him.

I hope this gives everyone a idea of what is going on. I'm know he is much more of a horse then I can handle at this point. Sometimes I wonder if he wasn't abused.

Thanks for all the advise.

That's good to hear, actually... maybe he has had some bad experiences in the stall and is in fact defending himself. I hope he wasn't abused :(

Beauseant 10-25-2011 11:41 AM

When we got our TB gelding, he was five yrs. old and fresh off the track (3 months)..

http://i990.photobucket.com/albums/af30/mazinn/009.jpg

...and while not quite aggressive as yours, he had severe issues. When he didn't get his way, he would go crazy.....like if he wanted to go out to the grazing pasture but it was being used and he had to wait....or if it was a windy day and we were trying to hand graze him......he would whirl, buck and rear...and I mean a strike out with his front hooves in your face rear.

I was terrified he was going to kill my 20 yr old son, who is his owner...and who had the responsibility of training him. Now, my son is no professional by any stretch of the imagination.....but he had 4 yrs of Parelli training and a bit of richard shrake training....and I was totally convinced he was in waaaay over his head.

But he is an adult. It was his horse, and his choice whether to try to rehab him or not.

Here we are two years later, and our OTTB has come such a long way. He is a delightful, well behaved boy who is just a big gray love bug. He has made great progress in learning to control his temper, impatience, horse on horse aggressiveness and his impulses. It is truly amazing to see a horse like him transform into self control and maturity.

So, retraining these horses can be done....but it takes courage and commitment.

OTTBs aren't taught manners at the track.....likely what you are seeing in your horse is the same as we saw in ours, only a bit more extreme in your case.....you are seeing an emotionally and socially immature horse with no idea of how to control himself....

When my son first introduced our OTTB to the Parelli 7 games training, he bit the carrot stick and tried to kick at it....now, he can do all the Parelli exercises without the least resistance or stress....he is a trainer's ground work/lunging dream.

Obedient and respectful.

Under saddle he is VERY forward.... BUT as long as you do not carry a riding crop, he is obedient and very eager to please. Bring a crop with you, even if you don't use it, and he is a nightmare of bucks and rears. Guess it's post traumatic racing syndrome or something equivalent

kevinshorses 10-25-2011 11:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timber (Post 1211418)
Thanks for all the advise.
They can come in and out of the barn whenever they want durning the day. They hang out in each others stalls.
He is turned out durning the day I can walk right up to him in the pasture. Or he will come over to see what I am doing. Timber (good horse) stays real close to me at that point he doesn't let Buddy(bad boy) get to close. Timber will kick Buddy if he thinks he is going to get mean with me. I can bring him in with a lead line. Only one time he tried to pick me up by it.(I'm short) He is very stubborn if he dosn't want to move he won't. He has learned that I don't give up until he does what I want him to do. (I know I'm asking for trouble but I try to show him that I'm the boss not him.)
I didn't get any of his vet records so I don't know when he was gelded.
In the morning when I let them out of the stalls I always do Buddy first he is closest to the door to go out. He follows me over to Timbers stall as I let him out. Timber usually comes flying out of his stall and blocks the hall so Buddy can't get near me. Usually Buddy bites Timber, Timber will put his back legs to Buddy he will give and go out. Timber always hangs back until Buddy is out of the barn until he goes out. They are starting to fight in the pasture but Timber dosn't take any of Buddy drama he will just go to kick him.

I hope this gives everyone a idea of what is going on. I'm know he is much more of a horse then I can handle at this point. Sometimes I wonder if he wasn't abused.

Thanks for all the advise.


This kind of sounds like a fantasy to me. Horses don't do things like this.

Beauseant 10-25-2011 11:55 AM

Ours was the opposite of yours, fine in his stall...but a mess when turned out. But it's all the same, really. A horse needs to mind his manners NO MATTER WHERE HE IS.....

I would encourage you NOT to avoid stalling him because of his behaviour, but to teach him that rules are rules, no matter WHAT the situation or WHERE he is....and rule number one: aggression towards humans WILL NOT be tolerated .....PERIOD.

IMO, the problem situation should not be avoided, rather you should teach him to control himself.....stressed or not.

Being an ex racehorse should NEVER EVER be an excuse for such dangerous behavior.

It's up to you to teach him the rules of his new life vs his old life....where there were no rules except to run fast.....what you should NOT do is to make allowances, any allowances, for unruly or dangerous behavior.



Just my opinion.

Equilove 10-25-2011 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kevinshorses (Post 1211436)
This kind of sounds like a fantasy to me. Horses don't do things like this.

The champagne colt from a Buck Brannaman clinic that bit Dan in the head comes to mind ...


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